UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier made an appearance on “UFC Tonight” recently as a guest and not in his familiar co-hosting role.

Cormier, who bested Alexander Gustafsson to retain his title, discussed “The Mauler” in detail.

“I think he’s an A-plus fighter and a really good guy,” Cormier said. “I treated him with respect. He’s one of the best in the world. Even though he didn’t win, he’s a champion inside the Octagon.”

The two went back-and-forth for 25 minutes, as “DC” claimed the decision. Gustafsson, who lost via decision to Jon Jones in his previous title fight, landed a big knee early that seemed to change the momentum for a bit.

However, it was another attack that did the most damage.

“I got hit with that knee and it hurt, but it was the left hook that followed that put me down,” he said. “I was cruising into the third before that. That was the most I’ve been hurt in my career.”

As for what could be next for Cormier, a rematch with Jones – who handed him his first loss earlier this year – appears to be in the cards. That means Ryan Bader, winner of five in a row, would be passed over yet again.

“Ryan Bader did really stick it to us by beating Rashad. He changed the game. He has by far earned the title shot,” Cormier said. “But Jones is going to get it if he comes back. Jon and I did big business in January and we’ll do bigger business next time.

“This is the biggest fight the UFC can do. The UFC is a business. Ryan, I apologize to you. I think you might have to fight again. He understands and see’s what’s going on in this business.”